TRADA Casestudy: Handlebar Cafe

Date posted: April 7, 2021

We recently worked with TRADA (The Timber Research and Development Association) to create a case study on the Handlebar Café, which can be downloaded via the TRADA website. The project was the brainchild of a group of local teenagers supported by ArchitecturePLB and other built environment professionals through the spudYOUTH programme.

A key factor in the design was to choose materials which were sustainable and which would also help to root the building in its verdant woodland setting. Timber was the clear choice and FSC-certified timber components were used for both cladding and structure. As the cafe sits on an old viaduct an important additional advantage of using a timber structure was that it was lightweight and would minimise the load on the foundations. It could also be partly constructed off-site and craned into place, reducing the impact of extended building work on a sensitive site in the South Downs National Park close to well-used public footpaths.

The project received a highly commended at the Wood Awards 2020.

The full casestudy can be found here, along with many other exemplar timber projects